About Brazil

Brazil is truly a land of contrasts. A variety of cultures, beliefs, and topographies make this nation a showcase of diversity. Although Brazil is considered a Latin country, the country's racial composition reflects the historical contact between indigenous peoples, Portuguese colonizers, African slaves and immigrants from Europe and Asia.

The Program

The program is based in São Paulo and is offered in conjunction with the Fundãcao Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP), a private educational institution. With a population of over 19 million people, São Paulo is the largest metropolis in South America and is among the largest cities in the world. The racial and cultural diversity of this city makes it ideal for the study of the causes and effects of economic development and political democratization.


Women, Environment, and Social Change
Social, political, and economic policies toward the environment impact all members of society. This course will explore how such policies, especially those dealing with water resources, affect the lives of women. Students will visit NGOs, community centers and cooperatives, shantytowns, a water treatment station, dams and hydroelectric plants. There will be guest speakers (community leaders and activists, architects, engineers, politicians) to present on some of the topics or to guide the group during our visits. Students will have the option of volunteering (teaching English) at a center for women and children in one of the communities that we will visit.

Survey of Brazilian Society
This course is a survey of relevant issues and aspects of Brazilian communities: Afro-Brazilian religions; the Catholic Church, Evangelical movements, and social change; racism; construction of cultural and ethnic identities; social structure and social class; crime and social control; the economy and urbanization; language and culture. Students will visit NGOs, museums and cultural centers, historical sites, and communities as part of the course and there will be a number of guest speakers covering various topics.

Contemporary Brazilian Cinema
This course offers an interdisciplinary study of contemporary Brazilian cinema focusing on issues of representation, reception and spectatorship, and construction of (national, cultural, gender, and racial) identity. In addition to the films viewed as part of the course, reviews and substantive readings will contribute to an examination of five main topics: 1) Constructions of Gender; 2) Representations of National Identity; 3) Race and Class; 4) Queer Images; and, 5) Marginality and Violence. All films studied in class will link two or more of these topics.

Portuguese I or II
All students will take a course in Portuguese language and will be placed in an appropriate level upon taking a placement exam.

Academic Focus

This program will be of interest to students studying economic development, social planning/public policy, Latin American studies, women's studies and human rights.


This program is open to all sophomores, juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum gpa of 2.5. All students must complete at least one semester of Brazilian Portuguese prior to departure through the Self-Instructional Language Program (SILP). Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


Students on the program will reside in homestays with Brazilian families.


The program will include two extended excursions to Rio de Janeiro (site of the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics) and Salvador de Bahia and several field trips in the State of São Paulo. In addition, a variety of local excursions in and around São Paulo will be arranged.

Going Abroad with the CGE

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and room fees, a 1/2 board fee and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover credit for a four-course semester, program-related excursions, room and 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner) while in São Paulo in their homestay. Students should plan to bring half of their board with them (approximately $1350) to cover lunches and meals during excursions. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books, visa and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1100-$1300 from the East Coast, books at $250 and visa at $100. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1250. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.


  • This program is offered fall semesters during odd years.
  • Applications are available at the Center for Global Education.
  • Applications are due at the CGE office at a selected date in October.
  • For specific date contact the CGE.

NOTE: The information contained in this brochure is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.